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Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas on a Budget

Outdoor Graduation Party Ideas on a Budget

If you have a graduate in your family, the celebration should be in order, right?

Chances are, your grad is already going through the college or high school virtual graduation or in-person graduation celebration held by their institutions. So now’s your chance to make your grad feel extra special. And a graduation party is always a perfect way to celebrate the once-in-a-lifetime event.

But do you have a limited budget? Don’t have a lot of money to spend a lot on entertainment?

Never be afraid!

Celebrate on a budget! Time to plan a wonderfully casual, inexpensive graduation party and throw an unforgettable party without burning a hole in your wallet.

Add some sparkle to your graduation party on a budget

For a quiet yet fabulous graduation party, consider celebrating it as a family at home to make the party more sentimental and personal. And if you’re keeping the party intimate, why not take it outside and stun your beloved graduate?

Move the party to your backyard for brunch or dinner with the handful of guests dear to your graduate, because the success of a graduation party never depends on things like the most lavish halls or great food. Instead, party planning on a tight budget can make planning more fun because setting limits lets your creativity run wild and forces you to do your best. By spending responsibly, you can enjoy even more.

So get creative with your graduation party ideas and raise a glass to a memorable celebration.

Enjoy these fun yet budget-friendly outdoor graduation party ideas

graduation party

Use these fun yet budget-friendly graduation party ideas and throw an amazing graduation party that your graduate will thank you for.

Keep a DIY photo booth

Create an excellent Instagram opportunity for your guests. Get creative with the outdoor DIY photo booth idea and offer guests a way to have fun while making memories. You can use the brick wall or pallet wood of your backyard as a perfect backdrop. Add some lanterns, fake ferns or flowers and hang string lights to decorate it. Also, leave some fun props near the booth to put your graduation party in context.

Add balloons to the decoration

Use the timeless party decor at your graduation party. Try to use it in a unique and unexpected way. For example, you can save surprise balloons with a message on the balloons for the guest of honor. You can even decorate a background with the number or letter balloons or create a balloon arch to match your party’s color scheme.

Show a photo memory board

Show off some of your cherished graduation favorite moments to your guests. For example, make a strung photo garland with photos from each year of your grad’s school/university career and attach it to the memories board, giving guests a trip down memory lane. Or simply create a rustic display with a piece of wood to hang pictures with the pieces of string in your backyard trees.

Offer homemade food and drinks

Celebrate your graduate’s success in style with homemade party drinks and food. It would certainly be cheaper than ordering takeaway. There’s also something much more personal about preparing meals for your own people. So prioritize your grad’s favorite meals, add a personal touch (the way your grad likes it), and keep it casual.

Be creative with food decoration

You can reduce the cost of your expenses while being creative with food decoration. For example, you can display your simple homemade vanilla cupcakes on a tiered stand while you top it with frosting in your grad’s favorite color. Or, to accentuate the main course, you can add toppers or surround the item with chocolate graduation caps and diploma cookies. You can even make fruit skewers to make it look like the plate.

Set up a memory table

Budget outside graduation

A graduation memory table is a great way to honor your hardworking graduate. Start collecting your grad’s childhood clothing, favorite toys, sports or club uniform, hobby items, certificates, trophies or medals. Let the memory table reflect your grad’s personality. Don’t forget to decorate the table with tablecloths, banners and tassels to fill in the gaps between the personal items.

Using a projection screen outside

Grab a beamer, hang a screen between the trees and dive into the start video. Often institutions use different virtual graduation software and leave a recorded copy for the graduates to enjoy later. With a beamer you can view the images of the graduation program together with friends and family. Or you can even host a movie night for an unforgettable outdoor experience.

Including outdoor games

Add outdoor graduation games to your party plan. All you need to do is collect some inexpensive and easy-to-find materials such as disposable cups, straws, tassels, balloons, dice, ping pong balls, baskets, etc. Or you can also play without any materials! For example, you can play charades, who is in the room, or guess who is challenging.

Add cheap accessories

From catering supplies to decorating supplies, look for cheap party accessories while shopping. Visit thrift or dollar stores or search for sales online to get a good deal. And if possible, come up with some DIY projects that skip the super chic stores. For example, you can hang some DIY hanging flower pots, paper lanterns, paper streamers or mason jars filled with candles.

Keep outdoor furnishings to a minimum

You don’t need to hire a party planner or buy expensive furniture while hosting your outdoor graduation party. Fix what you already have for outdoor decor instead. Or, if possible, borrow from friends, family or neighbors. And just in case you need to buy something, invest in affordable backyard furniture pieces.

So to better manage all aspects of your budget-friendly outdoor graduation party, go for the budget-conscious decoration, catering and decoration. Take some ideas from the mentioned points before planning a graduation party and prepare to celebrate your graduation. But whatever you do, just make sure your grad enjoys it. After all, it’s their day.


Shreya has been with australiabusinessblog.com for 3 years, writing copy for client websites, blog posts, EDMs and other mediums to engage readers and encourage action. By collaborating with clients, our SEO manager and the wider australiabusinessblog.com, Shreya seeks to understand an audience before creating memorable, persuasive copy.

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